Eliza and Patrick had a beautiful wedding at Chateau Elan Winery in north Georgia and before we dive into their beautifulness, I just wanted to talk a little bit to the photographers out there that struggle with shooting under harsh lighting. This wedding was in mid-May, in the South with absolutely NO SHADE! Scary right? The sun drains you soooo much but you definitely don’t want to let that ever become a problem. I had shot under harsh lighting before, but not for longer than 2 hours and definitely not with a whole wedding family and party waiting on you. The key was to be quick while still making sure everyone was having a good time. You don’t want to rush so much that everybody starts getting anxious and end up not enjoying their time. Every experience during their wedding day needs to be fun, even during pictures under 90 degree weather!

We started with family pictures so that parents and grandparents could get to the A/C as quickly as possible. I asked the wedding party before we started to just hang tight and keep drinking water!! We didn’t have a place close by where they could just wait inside, we were all hanging in there under the sun! This was probably one of the best parts of having a second shooter because we were able to get through wedding party even faster. While I took pictures of the bride and bridesmaids, my second shooter took pictures of the groom and groomsmen. Everybody in this wedding party was amazing! They all kept their spirits happy, which made the bride and groom happy, in turn making us happy because no one was complaining!

After family and wedding party, we moved to the couple’s portrait. Usually, I would spend anywhere from 30-50 minutes for couple’s portrait, but in this case I am pretty sure we did it all in 25 minutes. I made sure the bride and groom were feeling good at all times, but I knew we couldn’t stay out in the heat for much longer!

Okay let’s get to the details… camera settings! Even though it wasn’t sunset and the sun was still at it’s peak, my goal was to still keep the sun behind them because squinty eyes are way worse than sweat. My ISO was at 125. My shutter speed was 1600 and f/3.2. I would normally shoot couple’s portrait with a lower f-stop but the sun made it harder for me to see the back of my camera and make sure everything was in focus so I risked a higher aperture to make sure my pictures were still crisp!

All in all, don’t let the harsh lighting intimidate you, just be prepared and go with the flow! 9/10 times if you keep your spirits high the people around you will also stay happy. Shade or no shade you just have to bring on the positivity and have fun!

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